How is someone who loves the Lord supposed to know who to vote for this year?
If you’re like me, you don’t want the “churchy” response given too often… “just pray about it.”
I’ve heard that line too often growing up. “Just pray about it.”
I’m definitely not saying there is anything wrong with praying. In fact, praying – talking to God, or your higher power – what ever you choose to call it / Him / Her, is something I’ve learned is highly important to do all the time. Not just on Sunday. Not just at night before going to sleep. But constantly. So, don’t get offended by me saying I don’t want the answer “just pray about it.” I am not against praying.
So much is being said on the TV, on the radio and especially all over social media. Lots of ugly things are being said about the candidates as well as their supporters.
Personally, when I want to know how to solve a problem I need exact steps. Yes, I am extremely analytical. I’m finally embracing that about myself. Good, bad, or ugly, I analyze nearly everything. This political season is no different.
I am not going to tell you who to vote for. I’m not going to judge you for who you choose. There are too many people out there using religion against each other about who to vote for. It’s easy to see how politics can tear apart friends and families. It’s really sad.
Is there a perfect candidate?
No. There never has been and there never will be. Period. End of story. lol
How can I know which candidate shares my beliefs?
I’ll be honest. I haven’t voted many times in the past. I wasn’t crazy about the candidates and did’t feel I knew them well enough. I also figured enough other people were voting that my vote wouldn’t matter anyway. This year was different. Someone recommended I go to isidewith.com. As of the writing of this article, over 44 million people used isidewith to figure out which candidate most shared their views and values.
I went to this website earlier this year. At that time, there were a lot of candidates still in the running. I answered all the questions on the quiz and was dumbfounded at the result. I’ve never in my life been interested in politics. I’ve always considered myself an independent, mainly because I didn’t care one way or another about issues. Anything I could do to avoid conflict… yep. I avoided the news so I wouldn’t have to know about conflicts. I avoided talking about religion or politics with my family to avoid conflict.
Everything changed for me when I started my masters degree in divinity. It forced me to put in writing what my beliefs are on many different topics. Never before had I put pen to paper about most of these. It was uncomfortable. I had avoided talking about these topics because I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Who was I to say if someone’s religious belief is right or wrong. Who am I to say someone’s political beliefs are wrong just because they are different from mine? However, answering the questions on isidewith.com made me think about where I really stand on issues. When the results showed I was a democrat, I just sat there with my jaw dropped.
Why should I care? Well, most of my family members are not Democrats. Many of them are extremely conservative. I, on the other hand am very liberal. We’re not talking just a little liberal. I am about as liberal as they come. And that’s ok. It’s all ok.
You see, God created each one of us unique. We aren’t supposed to all have the exact same thoughts. But… yes, I get upset when I have people close to me who are not as open-minded when it comes to sexuality, race, religion, women’s rights, etc. But I realized my job is to still love them because I understand they are God’s children just as much as I am.
The results of the isidewith.com questionnaire, showed I most closely sided with Bernie Sanders. My first reaction was – Who? I had never heard of the guy. My second reaction was that he looked like he was past the retirement age. Ok, that wasn’t nice. But hey, I already mentioned I’m very analytical! Anyway, my second closest match was Hillary Clinton. Appartently, the issues that are important to me are also important to her. Or, the issues that are important to her are the ones that are also important to me.
I had very little in common with Trump’s stances on issues. So, before all the hoop-la got under way in the campaign, I already knew which of the candidates most closely shared my values.
Then strange things started happening!
This man on TV who was the star of his own show was now running for the Presidency and he was acting in ways that were obsurd to me. I’m sitting at home watching him speak and the things that come out of his mouth made my eyes nearly pop out of my head. I’m a mother. I’m a sensitive woman. I value other people. And I was in shock. I was thinking about my children watching / listening to this man. Donald Trump was saying and doing things that I personally considered a horrible example to my children.
Growing up, it seemed that presidents were people we were supposed to look up to. As an adult, I realize they are not quite as desirable as I had once thought. However, it is still important for the leader of the free world to be a good example. Not just an example. A Good example.
Did Donald Trump fulfill that role? Well, I did some research. I want to add here that where you reach matters! Too many people on social media are posting articles from websites that post things that are, let’s say… Less than factual. So, when I did my research, I looked closely at the sources.
Seek the Truth!
The Bible does say: “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” That quote has been used and misused many times over. However, throughout my life I have understood the importance of seeking the truth.
A website called Politifact.com researches statements to determine the truthfulness of them. It’s an amazing resource for checking what a candidate claims is true.
Pants on Fire!
As of today, October 31, 2016, Politifact has found that only a pitiful 4 percent of Donald Trump’s scorecard statements are “True.” 71 % of his statements were either “Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.” At the same time, Politifact found that 26 % of Hillary Clinton’s statements were either “Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.” What about the VP’s? Well, Trump’s VP scored 49%, while Clinton’s VP scored 22 %. Geez! Can’t anyone tell the truth on a regular basis???
Wow. Seriously? So… I’m pretty sure the God I know and love doesn’t appreciate lies or liars. Ok, so every single one of us has lied at some point in our lives. We tell little white lies to our kids – like “the tooth fairy came last night!” However, when I’m trying to choose who I want for a President, it is not acceptable to have the vast majority of his statements be non-truthful.
So… ok. They all lie and apparently Trump and Pence lie the most out of the four. Fine. What about other issues?
There are way too many other issues to count. You can go issue by issue on Politifact and check out all the research they have done for you.
The bottom line is that we each have to make our own decision about voting. After all, we DO live in a free country. If we were all required to vote the same way it wouldn’t be a free country.
What did my gut feeling tell me?
That “gut feeling”, those initial feelings we sense when we are around someone… I fully believe they are there for a reason. My personal instincts told me who the best candidate for me was. To back it up, I researched literally hundreds of articles, videos, news stories, etc. I trusted my instincts, but just to make sure, I kept an open mind and went day by day doing more research until I felt there was no way in the world I could vote for one of the candidates and needed to choose the other.
The things that are important to me for voting might not be important to you. I am merely sharing a brief picture of the process I went through trying to make this difficult decision.
I am not perfect. I do not have all the answers. I have made more than my share of bad decisions in my life. This election became quite serious for me. The more one particular candidate said and did things, like sexually assaulting women and bragging about it, the more I was certain I could never personally vote for that. But again, that is only my personal choice. And I’m thankful to people like my brother who fight for our country so that we can have the individual choice to vote in an election for who we want to.
My two grandfathers, my father, my brother, my sister and lots of other family members have served in our military. They did their part to help us remain a free country. Vote. Don’t vote. I’m not here to judge you one way or the other. I haven’t always voted. This year I am. I have talked with God about who I should vote for. And then I talked to Him again. And again. Just as I’m sure you have. And it’s likely we each hear something different. And that’s ok!!
I love you. God loves you. God needs you. God needs me. God also needs all the candidates. We each serve a purpose. No one is all bad or all good. Just do your best to get your mind at ease about voting and then follow your instincts.
I’m tired of the political fighting. I’m tired of family condemning me for who I chose to vote for. However, God reminds me that She loves them just as much as She loves me. God is not condemning any of us for who we vote for.
My dear friends, I truly hope you find peace in your heart during this election season. Perhaps laws will change one day to shorten this crazy cycle! lol. We need to join together as children of God to uplift one another, especially after the vast amount of tearing down that has gone on these last months.
** This article is not meant to offend anyone. It is just my own personal experience and thoughts. This blog is called God Does Heal. Politics have given me lots of extra chances to reach out to God to heal my heart. I hope you find healing in yours as well.